20 Tips to Help You Live a Greener Lifestyle

The interest in greener living is on the rise, in large part to feelings of increased responsibility toward the environment, as well as the recognition that a greener lifestyle can actually improve your health. Many of us are in various stages of sustainable living. I know that my lifestyle isn’t sustainable right now, but I do take small steps toward living a greener life, including joining in a program with the local power utility that makes use of renewable energy, and by taking other steps in my life to leave a slightly smaller footprint.

Happily, you don’t have to make huge sweeping changes all at once to be a little greener. Indeed, there are a number of small ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment, live better, and feel good about your efforts. Here are 20 tips to help you go a little bit greener:

  1. Switch a few of your lightbulbs from incandescent to CFL.
  2. Plant a garden. Even if you don’t have a huge space, you can grow some produce in a container garden.
  3. Use reusable bags instead of getting disposable bags at the store.
  4. Instead of buying bottled water, get an environmentally friendly reusable bottle and refill it regularly.
  5. Use online bill pay instead of using paper checks. Switch to paperless statements as well.
  6. Consider freecycling. Less will end up in the dump, and you can find quality used items without spending any money.
  7. Buy used. Used items don’t continually require more resources. Buy used items when it makes sense.
  8. Buy food as locally as possible. Shop at farmer’s markets, and check with your grocery store to see where the food’s coming from. Try to buy in season.
  9. Make your own household cleaners. Avoid the harmful chemicals, and possibly save money as well.
  10. Consider preserving your own food. This can include drying, freezing, canning, bottling. If you have a garden, or even if you just grow herbs, you can preserve your own food.
  11. Reuse scrap paper. If something is printed, and I don’t need it, or if a mistake was made, or if I otherwise have paper, I give it to my son. He can use the back, or he uses it for origami practice. When he’s done, we recycle it.
  12. Walk or bike to run close errands, or small errands.
  13. Practice ways to stay cool while saving energy during the summer. You can put off using the air conditioner for as long as possible, as well as engage in other activities that can reduce your environmental impact while still remaining comfortable.
  14. Unplug chargers and other devices you aren’t using.
  15. Repair leaky faucets so that you aren’t wasting as much water.
  16. Look for ways to use less electricity. Try to use natural light when possible, and think of activities that don’t require the juice sucking of a the TV or computer.
  17. Reduce the temperature on the hot water heater. Most of us don’t need water that heats to 150 degrees anyway. Turn it down, and save energy (and your kids’ skins).
  18. Use rainwater to water plants in your home. Set up a collection barrel, and use that when possible.
  19. Repurpose old T-shirts and towels to serve as rags, instead of constantly using paper towels, or buying rags new at the store.
  20. Prepare more meals from scratch, using vegetables and fruits, rather than buying processed meals at the store. Bonus points if you can use your own produce to improve your meals.

2 Responses to 20 Tips to Help You Live a Greener Lifestyle

  1. All great tips, I’m trying with most of these and succeeding with a few; I’ve saved money living a greener lifestyle but more important to the big pic is the environment. Thanks for the list!

  2. Why not start by just making an effort to conserve more. I see so many people running out and trying to do the green thing without making some basic changes at home first and learning from it. Before going out and buying a water retreival system only to feed the cat with the water and not the lawn or flowers.

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